Swedish Report: Barkas Celtic exit looking unlikely as IFK Goteborg move for Orjan Nyland

By David Walton

February 7, 2022

Vasilis Barkas’ Celtic exit looks even more unlikely with IFK Goteborg instead moving for former Bournemouth goalkeeper Orjan Nyland, Swedish outlet Aftonbladet reports.

Goteborg were first linked with a move for Barkas just several days before the transfer window closed in the UK. It was reported by the Daily Record that the Greek stopper was on the Swedish club’s radar and that they were looking into the prospect of a loan agreement.

It came after their move for Copenhagen shot-stopper Sten Grytebust fell through. Goteborg have managed to tie down 2 young goalkeeping prospects down for the long-term in Gustav Lillenberg and Adam Ingi Benediktsson. But they’re yet to sign up a new number one.

Photo by Andrea Bruno Diodato/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

But Aftonbladet have reported that instead of Barkas, they’re instead looking at Nyland. It’s claimed that this is their first-choice replacement, and that they hope to reach an agreement with the player soon.

Barkas has been frozen out at Celtic Park under Ange Postecoglou this season. After failing to take his big chance in the Champions League qualifiers against Midtjylland, he’s only gone on to appear once since then – a 3-1 win over St Johnstone on Boxing Day.

Barkas cost the Hoops £4.5m to take him from AEK Athens in the summer of 2020 [Scottish Sun]. However, he has come nowhere near close to repaying that investment.

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Celtic still have plenty of time to send Vasilis Barkas on his way

When it comes to plausible leagues for Celtic to send Barkas too, we certainly still have plenty of time to find the Greek stopper a move elsewhere.

Sweden, for example, will see their transfer window slam shut as late as March. Goteborg may not be the only club interested in the player’s services after all. Russia, meanwhile, have their window open for another 15 days whilst Poland remain open for business for another 3 weeks [European Leagues].

Of course, there has to be an understanding that we simply won’t get what we splashed out on Barkas. That’s just the nature of a player’s decline. When a footballer has been underperforming for 18 months, you can’t expect to sell him for the same price he was when he was shining in his homeland.

Photo by Andrea Bruno Diodato/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Whether Celtic will be able to shift the player on remains to be seen. However, he still carries some pedigree with him. He’s an experienced, title-winning international with UCL football to his name. This isn’t a goalkeeper that’s struggled to make his mark in the game. For whatever reason, Celtic just hasn’t been the right fit.

Sticking around longer than the coming weeks, however, would be hugely detrimental for the player. Celtic have already shown their hand when it comes to the goalkeeping department. Scott Bain is the clear number 2, whilst Ange is putting some faith in Tobi Oluwayemi’s development given he’s been training with the first-team.

Barkas simply isn’t a part of the manager’s plans. Even if we don’t get much in the way of a transfer fee for him, it would be ideal just to get him off the wage-bill at the very least.

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